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Bleak House

Queens speech,
Quiz shows,
Just the same,
Repeats on TV,
'My name is Michael Caine',
I'm out of retirement for another job,
A trademark poem,
For the New Year mob.

Cheap word play on brandy butter,
My cult readership rolls its collective eyes,
That's mainly my wife and mother,
Who skim read them at the best of times.

I'm careful of my language,
At the works buffet lunch,
Dead eyes, mince pies and the boss' non alcoholic punch,
I brought her in a knuckle sandwich,
And a bag of Monster Munch,
It's not that I'm resentful,
Just take it as 'pay- back',
For a year long bellyful,
Of bitter mocking flak,
I'm rewarded by the bran tub,
And I'm grateful for that,
It's seasonal tranquillisers,
In an advent blister pack.

I drive back to my abode,
Gently weaving down the road,
Feeling chilled on tranquillisers,
And Cliff's brand new download,
But the sound of sleigh bells,
Blue lights and breathalyser,
Remind me things are not all right,
A legal, seasonal, appetiser !
Despite the lack of mistletoe,
A lingering kiss into the bag I blow,
And under the stark street light,
The crystals remain resolutely white,
No sign of Cava or Bordeaux,
And best of all it doesn't show,
Intoxicating Christmas spite.
Later at home by the twinkling tree ,
Faced down by tyrannical generosity,
Staring at the mess,
Of presents piled on the settee,
I quietly confess,
To Jesus's nativity,
I couldn't care less .. alas,
For your immaculate conception,
Followed, like Bobby in Dallas,
With an unlikely resurrection.

So at this time of theatre and circus,
When temperate common sense deserts us,
High on pantomime and low on purpose,
At the end of another December,
We care not to remember,
That what unites us at this time,
(Single mother or suicide bomber)
Human kind of one accord ?
We are as redundant,
As my mother's ironing board,
We have no special part to play,
For  'tomorrow ' see 'yesterday'
Our lives are already cooked,
This planet has been overlooked.

Be that as it seems,
My Christmas dream for 2, 14,
Will remain the same,
No one suffering alone,
Funnier poems of lighter tone,
The dispossessed fed and showered,
Authority disempowered,
But failing that, more Zopiclone,
And a calendar of Sophie Howard.